The missing AEW World Championship title belt has been one of the best (and funniest) stories of the year.
At All Out in Chicago on Saturday night, Chris Jericho defeated ‘Hangman’ Adam Page (and the horse he rode in on) to be crowned AEW’s first World Champion. Sometime afterward, Jericho left the belt in a limo to eat a victory steak at Longhorn Steakhouse and returned to find it missing. In response, Jericho — while wearing a scarf, hat, and sunglasses in a hot tub, as you do — launched a “worldwide investigation” to find the culprit. On Wednesday, that investigation came to a conclusion with the title belt recovered by Tallahassee Police amid some weird business where they took selfies with and deleted their social media posts about it.
Jericho handled the news like you’d expect.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) September 5, 2019
In a piece by the Tallahassee Democrat we learned about Frank Price, a Florida Man who found the championship in a velvet bag on the side of the road on his 41st birthday.
“It’s pretty comical,” Price said. “It’s like the start for a great screenplay. This story could have gone in so many other funny directions. There are so many funny twists to it.”
As they pulled into town on Highway 20, Price spotted what appeared to be a velvet bag in the middle of a turn lane near Capital Circle Southwest. The bag was scuffed up and contained something heavy, but the Prices didn’t take a peek inside until they got home. When he finally opened the bag, he couldn’t believe his eyes.
“I think I said something like, ‘Whoa, it’s a huge wrestling belt, check this thing out!’ ” Price said. “I never would have guessed that if I had a lifetime of guesses.”
After a quick Google, Price and his wife learned that it was an AEW Championship, but assumed it was a knockoff as, at the time, there’d been “nothing in the news about anything being lost or stolen.” Price proceeded to list the belt on Lost & Found on Craigslist Tallahassee, and only then started getting messages about how the lost belt was international news.
When he realized what he’d found, he called the Tallahassee Police Department and was told to bring it in. He handed the belt over to an investigator in the lobby and answered questions about how he found it.
While he was there, he bumped into Mike Vaughn, the owner of Mike’s Limousine, which had given Jericho the fancy ride to the restaurant. Price said Vaughn was planning to file an insurance claim for the missing belt and was so pleased it had been found he gave him a $200 reward.
If the guy who found the belt miraculously running into the limo driver seems fishy, don’t worry, you aren’t alone.
Later that day, TPD investigators called and said they needed to take Price’s sworn statement. They were slightly suspicious about the reward and wondered whether Price had called Vaughn to arrange for their meeting at TPD and the reward. Price assured him the meeting was purely coincidental and the reward unplanned.
Legendary conspiracy victim Chris Jericho has his own idea of what happened.
So this gimmick "spots a velvet bag in middle of the road & opens it when he got home” saying “whoa it’s a huge wrestling belt, check this out!” Then he takes pix wearing it (Creepy) & posts on Craig’s list…waiting 3 days before turning it in. Hmm lets ask him where he works? https://t.co/kaSYPXcwTp
— Chris Jericho (@IAmJericho) September 6, 2019
As of now, the belt is safe and (hopefully) sound in Jericho’s possession as he enjoys a little bit of the bubbly. Just in time, as well, as All Elite Wrestling announced he’ll be defending it against Cody Rhodes at November’s Full Gear pay-per-view from Baltimore.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) September 6, 2019
Just make sure nobody comps Frank, just in case.